Murmur of the Crowd
Two rascals—each to other known—
Phantast and fool—so near the throne—
The old, old song,—now trite with age—
The fool still prompts—while speaks the sage.—
ASTROLOGER (speaks, MEPHISTOPHELES prompts)
The sun himself is purest gold; for pay
And favor serves the herald, Mercury;
Dame Venus hath bewitched you from above,
Early and late, she looks on you with love;
Chaste Luna’s humor varies hour by hour;
Mars, though he strike not, threats you with his power,
And Jupiter is still the fairest star;
Saturn is great, small to the eye and far;
As metal him we slightly venerate,
Little in worth, though ponderous in weight.
Now when with Sol fair Luna doth unite.
Silver with gold, cheerful the world and bright!
Then easy ’tis to gain whate’er one seeks;
Parks, gardens, palaces, and rosy cheeks;
These things procures this highly learned man.
He can accomplish what none other can.
Double, methinks, his accents ring,
And yet they no conviction bring.
Of what avail!—a worn-out tale—
I the false word—full oft have heard—
And as of yore—we’re hoax’d once more.
The grand discovery they misprize,
As, in amaze, they stand around;
One prates of gnomes and sorceries,
Another of the sable hound.
What matters it, though witlings rail,
Though one his suit ’gainst witchcraft press,
If his sole tingle none the less,
If his sure footing also fail?
Ye of all swaying Nature feel
The secret working, never-ending,
And, from her lowest depths up-tending,
E’en now her living trace doth steal.
If sudden cramps your limbs surprise,
If all uncanny seem the spot—
There dig and delve, but dally not!
There lies the fiddler, there the treasure lies!
Like lead it lies my foot about—
Cramp’d is my arm—’tis only gout—
Twitchings I have in my great toe—
Down all my back strange pains I know—
Such indications make it clear
That sumless treasuries are here.
To work—the time for flight is past.—
Put to the test your frothy lies!
These treasures bring before our eyes!
Sceptre and sword aside I’ll cast,
And with these royal hands, indeed,
If thou lie not, to work proceed.
Thee, if thou lie, I’ll send to hell!